Friday, June 8, 2012

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer 2012: Shimmering Sands Illuminating Powder Gelée Review and Swatches

After watching Lisa Eldridge's beautiful summer metallic tutorial I ran directly to Estée Lauder's website and purchased the Bronze Sands Pure Colour Gelée Powder eye shadow palette, see here for review and swatches. I also succumbed to the charms of Shimmering Sands Illuminating Powder Gelée ($50.00 CA). All photos taken in natural light, NC 35/40 skin, product is LE.

 Estée Lauder Shimmering Sands Illuminating Powder Gelée
blended out from right to left

To recap, EL about a year ago came out with a tri-blend formula that combines pigments in a gel base, This gel formula givesthis product a simultaneously dry, powdery and creamy texture. From the name, I assume Shimmering Sands is marketed as a highlighter. It has a deep, shimmery reddish bronze colour and is so highly pigmented that it really makes this product a bronzer/blush. The shimmer factor is not overwhelming, and it's subtle glow makes this wearable for both day and night. This product is so intensely pigmented that you need the lightest of applications. I recommend using a duo fibre brush such as MAC's 188 or 109 and simply touching the brush on top of the product to ensure you don't pick up too much. The good news is that this product blends easily and buffs out nicely. Given this product's density, I don't know what EL was thinking by including an oversize foam tip applicator. I would expect clown-like results if you try their provided method of application!

I think this product will suit warmer skin tones on the medium - dark end of the spectrum a little better than cooler, fairer skin tones. Due to it's red base and very strong pigmentation, lighter skin tones may find this product gives them a more "sun burnt" than bronzed look. That being said I do think you could get this to work for a fair, cool complexion, it would just require a very light hand and plenty of blending.

Fans of MAC will note that the recent In Extra Dimension Highlighters closely resemble Shimmer Sands. If you liked that formulation you will also like this product (and vice versa). A good thing to note is that none of the MAC highlighters are dupes for Shimmering Sands. Glorify would come the closest, but it is much more orange, coppery and shimmery (and less wearable in my opinion) than Shimmering Sands.

At the time of writing this post, this product was still available online, and qualifies you for free shipping.

Overall grade: B+


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